Why we set up the Young Researcher’s Network

We believe it’s important that young people get the credit and recognition for the work they do to support social change – through evaluation, inspection and research activities in their widest sense. The NYA set up the Young Researcher’s Network to invite young people to learn about research and conduct their own research projects, but to also co-create a research course to ensure this was fit for purpose to deliver to other young people.

NYA recruited eight young researchers from across England to create research projects on the issues that mattered most to them, that supported young people and/or youth work, as well as the work of the NYA. Online sessions exploring the different stages of research were delivered throughout December 2020 and January 2021. Alongside these sessions, the Young Researcher’s developed their own research projects whilst completing an accredited learning course.

Online sessions in February 2021 involving the Young Researcher’s looked at the redesign of the course and how this should be changed from their recommendations. NYA are currently forming a toolkit to support other youth workers and practitioners to deliver the course to other young people. We believe youth-led research is an important tool that can be used to amplify young people’s voices and their participation in organisations and society.

The NYA Young Researcher’s Work

You can view the Young Researcher’s research reports by clicking on these below:

The first link is a research study explored the impact of online learning during the COVID-19 restrictions and the second is a research study focused on exploring young people’s interaction with green spaces:

To understand the process we went through, please read this published paper to understand the achievements and challenges we went through and the recommendations we advise when supporting a young researcher programme.

Learning how to support national online youth led research – Stuart, K., Terras, D., Allen, L., Bateman, C., Clinton, C.,  Franklin, L., Kinnersley, L., Linehan, S., Lucioni, L.,  Merrington, L., & Shaukat, A. (2021). Learning how to support national online youth led research.

What Happened during the pilot programme?

The accredited learning course covered the following learning outcomes:

  1. Know how to plan a research project.
  2. Be able to select appropriate research methods to use.
  3. Be able to conduct primary or secondary research.
  4. Be able to analyse data appropriately.
  5. Communicate the research findings in an appropriate way for the subject and audience.

Phase 1: The Young Researchers decided on a research subject that they would like to focus on. The group met for online research sessions twice a week for two hours and learnt about the different stages of research whilst developing their research project with knowledge gained. The Young Researchers used the NYA Academy site to upload their work so that they could be assessed for the accreditation. 

Phase 2: The Redesign sessions focused on feedback and recommendations made by the Young Researcher’s for each session. These recommendations are being used to alter the course, sessions and resources for future use and sharing with the sector.

Phase 3: The Young Researcher’s have the opportunity to join the NYA Youth Advisor Network and continue to feed into and co-design best practices for youth work. They will be an influential voice at NYA reviewing our practices, ensuring young people are at the heart of what we do.

Young Researcher’s Course – Toolkit

The toolkit for this course is currently being changed from the Young Researcher’s recommendations. If you would like to be informed when this is released to the sector, please get in contact yrn@nya.org.uk and we’ll add you to a mailer list

With thanks to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation

NYA would like to thank the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for the opportunity to set up the Young Researcher’s Network, deliver the course and create a toolkit for youth workers and practitioners to use to increase youth-led research.

Contact and Enquiries

If you have any queries about the Young Researcher’s course, please get in contact with yrn@nya.org.uk

If you have any queries about the NYA Youth Advisor Network, please get in contact with lydiaa@nya.org.uk

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